Carnival Adds Fees For Late Night Room Service, Fun Shop Deliveries

January 10, 2018.

Carnival is beginning the new year with new fees for various services.

For most purchases made online from the Fun Shops, a new 15% delivery charge will be tacked on.  This includes things such as six-packs of soda, cookies, cakes, but apparently if you buy bottled water it will still be delivered to the cabin for free.

When it comes to room service there are two big changes.  As announced by Brand Ambassador John Heald on his Facebook page, Carnival will now be charging for late night room service.

From 10pm to 6am, room service will offer an expanded menu of fee-based  salads, sandwiches, and specialty items such as Greek Salad; Chicken Caesar Salad; Portabella & Veggie Bun; Grilled Cheese, Bacon and Tomato Sandwich; and Roast Turkey Wrap; as well as a selection of new desserts including Dark Chocolate Walnut Brownies; Doughnut Sandwich; and Banana Split. Prices for menu items will range from $2 to $6.

Also, Carnival is going to discontinue offering room service breakfast on debarkation morning.


Star Princess Renovation Completed


January 9, 2018.


Star Princess has returned to service following a two-week multi-million dollar renovation that added some of the latest Princess Cruises innovations and enhancements.

Resuming a season of 15-day Hawaiian Island cruises roundtrip from Los Angeles and Vancouver through April before summer cruising in Alaska, Star Princess guests will enjoy the following updates:

Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria – this signature specialty restaurant now offers updated décor and a new menu developed in collaboration with Chef Angelo Auriana, Executive Chef and partner at the authentic Italian restaurants, The Factory Kitchen and Officine BRERA, in Los Angeles.  Inspired by fresh Northern Italian flavors the menu features handmade pasta dishes from Chef Auriana, as well as family recipes from Italian Princess executive chefs.

Princess Luxury Bed – available in every stateroom aboard Star Princess, the Princess Luxury Bed was developed by Princess Cruises in collaboration board-certified sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus and renowned HGTV designer Candice Olson. The bed offers the ultimate night of sleep at sea combining the science of sleep with the pinnacle of design.

Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center – for cruisers ages 3-17, Star Princess now offers a reimagined youth center – Camp Discovery – created in partnership with Discovery Consumer Products, the licensing arm of Discovery Communications™, as part of the cruise line’s Discovery at Sea program. Catering to specific age groups, there are three center themes where kids and teens can make new friends and participate in activities specially designed to help them discover, play, create and huddle.

Enhanced Boutiques – guests will enjoy aesthetic enhancements to the Shops of Princess, offering an upgraded shopping experience, such as a branded Effy Fine Jewelry boutique and a modern Fragrance & Cosmetic shop. There will also be new products to choose from such as a new collection of Princess and Under Armour branded athletic wear and Princess logo apparel featured in a newly designed Logo shop.

Lotus Spa & Fitness Center – in a space where guests can relax and invigorate, salon and treatments rooms have been upgraded and the latest in fitness equipment is now available.

Casino – for guests ready to take a gamble, reconfiguration of machines and tables, as well new carpet tempt them to roll the dice.

Other general refurnishing upgrades of carpet and upholstery are found throughout Star Princess.


Carnival Rolls Out The Barrel With 4 New Craft Beers

January 9, 2018.

Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line


Carnival Cruise Line has announced the names of the four craft beers that will be brewed aboard the new Carnival Horizon which is set to debut in Europe April 2, 2018.

The new brews were developed by Carnival’s expert brewmaster Colin Presby and will be offered at Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse, a new dining concept that combines the best of both worlds – an onboard brewery and a full-service restaurant featuring “real deal” BBQ favorites and sides developed by Food Network star Guy Fieri, a member of the American Royal National Barbecue Hall of Fame.

The announcement was made by Presby and Carnival Vice President of Beverage Operations Edward Allen at a traditional keg-tapping ceremony held aboard Carnival Vista, the first North American-based cruise ship to feature an onboard brewery.

At a Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, beer-tasting event aboard Carnival Vista at PortMiami, Carnival Cruise Line’s Vice President of Beverage Operations Edward Allen (left) and Brewmaster Colin Presby tap the ceremonial keg of a craft beer that will be featured in the Smokehouse Brewhouse restaurant aboard the new Carnival Horizon. (Photo by Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Line)

The names of the beers – whose names are playful takes on the line’s popular ThirstyFrog brews that debuted on Carnival Vista – are inspired by the varied barbecue offerings at Smokehouse|Brewhouse.  The four new beers on Carnival Horizon will include:

  • ParchedPig Smoked Porter – brewed with in-house smoked malt, this robust, full-bodied beer offers big and bold flavors and notes of molasses and hickory smoke, providing the perfect complement to Smokehouse|Brewhouse’s BBQ favorites
  • ParchedPig Farmhouse Ale – this lightly hopped beer is distinguished by its blond color, fruity and complex character with mild spice notes that balance the brew’s dry finish
  • ParchedPig Toasted Amber Ale – highlighted by its rich amber color and notes of toasted caramel and biscuit, this beer is well balanced, smooth and highly drinkable
  • ParchedPig West Coast IPA – the embodiment of a traditional West Coast India Pale Ale, this hoppy, intense beer is loaded with bitterness with a bright flavor profile and distinctive aroma of citrus and pine


The brewery takes center stage at Smokehouse|Brewhouse, which, in addition to delicious craft beers and custom cocktails, will offer a rustic, down-home décor as well as a variety of Fieri-designed favorites, all smoked “low and slow” using the chef’s signature rubs and spices.  The tantalizing offerings include smoked-on-board brisket, Memphis-style back ribs, dry-rubbed chicken, pulled pork, and cedar-smoked salmon, along with the chef’s own take on traditional sides and his signature sauces.  Dinner menu items are offered on an a la carte basis with a free-of-charge self-service BBQ lunch buffet available on embarkation day and sea days.

Carnival Horizon is scheduled to make its maiden voyage April 2, 2018, with a 13-day Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona – the first of four round-trip departures from that port.  Carnival Horizon will reposition to the U.S. with a 14-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York May 9-23, 2018.

Following its summer schedule of four-day Bermuda and eight-day Caribbean departures from the Big Apple, Carnival Horizon will shift to Miami and kick off a year-round schedule of six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning Sept. 22, 2018. Carnival Horizon will also offer a special two-day cruise to Nassau from Miami Sept. 20-22, 2018.

Azamara Pursuit To Undergo Refit At Historic Belfast Shipyard

January 8, 2018.

Boutique cruise line Azamara Club Cruises announced today that its new ship, Azamara Pursuit, will undergo its transformation to be almost identical to sister ships Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey.  Azamara Pursuit will be refitted in the U.K. as it prepares to go into wet dock in Belfast in Spring 2018. The ship’s maiden voyage will begin in Southampton, England in August and visit eight destinations throughout Norway as part of its Destination Immersion® country-intensive series.

The refit will take place at the iconic Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland and be completed by one of the world’s top outfitting specialist MJM Group. Work will begin in Spring 2018 and will be completed by the end of July.

The maiden voyage will depart Southampton on August 1, 2018 and travel to eight Norwegian destinations, including Kristiansand, Flam and Haugesund, with overnight stays in Oslo and Bergen. Azamara Pursuit’s sister ship, Azamara Journey, will also be dock in Haugesund on the same day, marking their first meeting. Azamara Pursuit will then depart Southampton for an Iceland-intensive voyage on 13 August 2018, before a special christening voyage on 28 August 2018. The ship will then depart Southampton once more on 30 August 2018 for its 13 Night Wine & Romance Voyage.

Carnival Announces “Choose Fun” Brand Campaign

January 8, 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line and its newly appointed ad agency of record, Anomaly, are launching a new brand campaign called “Choose Fun.”

After robust research on Carnival guests, Anomaly determined that the Carnival brand, guests, and crew all share the common belief that fun is a choice and whether on board or ashore, those vacationing with Carnival choose to be their truest self, embrace positivity and have fun with others.

With guests possessing their own definitions of fun, and Carnival offering an array of onboard attractions and experiences, Anomaly created a campaign to connect the same activities that vacationers enjoy on land with those offered on board on a one-to-one personalized level.  Driven by these consumer insights, Choose Fun is designed to attract those who have never cruised, but share the same values and passions.

The Choose Fun campaign launches with two distinctly different sets of advertising. First, longer-length testimonials depict first-time cruisers who were initially reluctant to set sail but were liberated on a Carnival cruise, making the vacation more fun and memorable for everyone. These testimonials are viewed in unexpected situations such as sliding down a water slide, posing for photos and even conversing with family members under water.   The three testimonials include:  “Excursions”, “Stacy Tracy” and “Insta-worthy”.

Additionally, six-second video snippets will be customized to match content on various websites and viewer preferences delivering the ultimate one-to-one marketing. Each pod showcases a fun activity aboard a Carnival ship including biking in the sky on SkyRide, getting a massage at the Cloud 9 Spa, performing at Lip Sync Battle, enjoying the Punchliner Comedy Club and feasting on burgers by Food Network star and Carnival partner Guy Fieri as well as fun activities ashore.

Choose Fun will come to life in digital display, paid social and modular online videos on platforms such as Amazon Video, Hulu, Roku and Vevo. The new advertising will also air on television in the Atlanta, Houston Dallas and LA markets during high profile events like the GRAMMY’s Red Carpet and NFL Playoff Games.

In these key regional markets, large and disruptive out of home placements will also showcase Carnival’s signature bold visual identity and uncommon text-only communications to break through the sea of sameness in the category.


Royal Caribbean Raises VOOM Internet Pricing

January 6, 2018.

Along with their recently announced increase for the automatic gratuities, Royal Caribbean has rung in the new year by increasing the on-board pricing for the much lauded VOOM internet plans.

The increase is $2 or $3 per device/per day depending on which level of service is purchased, and how many devices are included in the internet plan.  Before and after photos show the details.

2017 VOOM Price List

2017 VOOM Pricing

2018 VOOM Price List

2018 VOOM Pricing

Examples: Buying Surf + Stream for 2 devices for a 7-night cruise will cost $3 more per day/per device, or $42 more for the cruise.  For the “Best Value” 4 Device plan, you’ll shell out $84 more for that 7-night cruise.

Members of the Crown & Anchor Society get varying discounts for onboard purchase of VOOM, which mitigates some of the price increase.  Also, RCI often has sales of the VOOM plans online for purchase prior to the cruise, both as a stand alone purchase or bundled with the deluxe drink package for 1 device.

Carnival Named ‘Best Ocean Cruise Line’ In USA Today Reader’s Choice Awards

January 3, 2018.

Photo by Filippo Vinardi

Carnival Cruise Line was the big winner in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice awards, taking top honors in the Best Ocean Cruise Line and Best Cruise Line For Families categories while Carnival Vista was named Best Cruise Ship for Entertainment.

The awards were based on nominations from a team of cruise industry experts and the winners were determined by an online vote of USA Today readers.

Carnival Cruise Line enjoyed a successful and memorable 2017 highlighted by the line’s first-ever voyages to Cuba aboard Carnival Paradise as well as the continued rollout of new culinary offerings such as the New England-inspired Seafood Shack and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri.  Carnival also continues to invest in its product with seven ships undergoing extensive dry docks that added a wide variety of food, beverage and entertainment concepts with some ships receiving new staterooms and suites and expansive water parks.  The line’s 26th ship, Carnival Horizon, is set to debut in Europe April 2, 2018.

Carnival Vista was named Best Cruise Ship for Entertainment for its wide variety of captivating entertainment options.  These include the high-tech Playlist Productions shows where performers seamlessly interact with massive LED screens, the Punchliner Comedy Club offering both adults-only and family-friendly performances, and Lip Sync Battle Carnival, an authentic shipboard recreation of the hit SpikeTV series.  Engaging and talented live bands, solo acts in lounges and along the promenade, lively DJs, and legendary deck events and late-night parties are also featured throughout the ship.

Carnival Vista also placed second in the Best Cruise Ship for Dining category for its vast array of culinary choices, including Ji Ji Asian Kitchen with a diverse menu of Far East favorites, Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant and Fahrenheit 555, a classic American steakhouse.

Norwegian Cruise Line ‘Super Splash Sale’ Announced

January 3, 2018. 

Norwegian Cruise Line is kicking off 2018 with a limited time offer, perfect for those looking to escape the Arctic temperatures across the nation with a cruise vacation to warmer climes. Now through January 15, guests can take advantage of the Super Splash Sale* and receive up to $500 in free onboard spending on select five-day or longer sailings. The offer is combinable with Free at Sea, providing up to $3,100 in added value to their cruise.

  • Norwegian’s popular Free at Sea promotion will be extended through January 31. This signature value-added offer provides guests who book a new three-day or longer sailing in an oceanview, balcony or minisuite category stateroom with the opportunity to select their preference of two free choices from five onboard amenity offers, including free unlimited open bar, a free specialty dining package, $50 towards shore excursions in each port per stateroom, 250 minutes of free WiFi, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free offer that allows the third and fourth guests to sail for free on many 2018 sail dates. Inside staterooms, as well as Norwegian’s Studio staterooms for solo travelers, can choose one free offer. Those who want to enjoy the more luxurious things in life, can book a cruise in a suite or The Haven by Norwegian® and enjoy all five free amenities†, providing up to $2,600 in added value to their cruise.
  • Guests looking to soak up the sun in the South Pacific can take advantage of Norwegian’s Free at Sea Hawaii offer, which has also been extended through January 31.  Guests who book a new cruise vacation aboard Pride of America can select one of five offers†*  including a free one-night pre-cruise hotel stay with an option to select reduced airfare starting at $399 from select gateways, a free specialty dining package, free pre-paid service charges for the first and second guest in the stateroom, free $50 per port shore excursion credit per stateroom, or Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free, allowing the third and fourth guests in each stateroom to sail for free on many 2018 sail dates. Guests who book a suite aboard Pride of America can enjoy all five offers.
  • Guests who are looking to explore the Cuba can enjoy $50 in free onboard spending money** with Norwegian’s Havana Nights promotion now through January 31. Cruisers who book a new cruise to Cuba can take advantage of an all-inclusive onboard experience with unlimited open bar on Norwegian Sky from Miami or Norwegian Sun from Port Canaveral.

To book a cruise aboard a Norwegian ship, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 866-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit

Now for the explanations for all of those superscript characters you see in the above paragraphs:

*Offer not applicable to Sail Away Categories (categories IX, OX, BX or MX). Onboard credit amount is per stateroom based on category booked, in U.S. Dollars and will be applied to 1st and 2nd guest on the reservation. 

All sailings 3 nights or longer. Offer is not applicable to categories IX, OX, BX, MX (Sail Away Categories). Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Joy, Pride of America, and Norwegian Sun’s all-inclusive sailings from Port Canaveral are not eligible for this offer. Friends & Family sail free applicable only on select sail dates.  Guests are responsible for a 20% gratuity for retail value for Specialty Dining Package, Unlimited Beverage Package, and/ or the Soda Package, with pricing based on number of cruise nights. Number of meals for specialty dining package based on length of itinerary. $50 USD per port shore excursion credit is per stateroom and is applicable for each port; it is not transferable to other ports. Overnight stays count as one port, except Bermuda sailings which can receive up to 3 individual days of shore excursion credit. Wifi package offers one login per stateroom. On Norwegian Breakaway, stateroom receives an internet package of 250 minutes or 1000 MB of data.

†*Pride of America offer available for bookings for cruises through April 27, 2019. Offer is not applicable to categories IX, OX, BX (Sail Away Categories). Cruises must be booked more than 30 days prior sailing, when selecting hotel option; if choosing hotel option with air option cruises must be made more than 60 days prior to sailing. Offer valid for Waikiki Marriott Resort-city view room. In the event that the hotel scheduled to be used in package is unavailable, for any reason, Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to substitute the hotel included in package. One night pre-hotel offer is available on reservations with 4 guests or less.

**Offer not applicable to Sail Away Categories (categories IX, OX, BX or MX).

Princess Cruises Will Sail To Greenland From NYC In 2019

January 3, 2018.

For those who have always wanted to visit Greenland in comfort, Princess has a way to do it.

The Caribbean Princess will do a 16-day cruise from NYC departing August 19, 2019.  The ports will include Nuuk, Qaqortoq, and Nanortalik in Greenland.  The cruise will also visit Halifax, Sydney (Nova Scotia, not Australia), and St. John’s Newfoundland.

Nuuk, Greenland

Fares for the trip start at $2,499 per person plus $220 in port fees and tax.

Details can be seen here.